About this Show

Erin Burnett Out Front

News/Business. Erin Burnett. (2012)

NETWORK
CNN

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Israel 37, Us 16, Iran 8, Hamas 5, Jerusalem 5, Clinton 5, Obama 3, Egypt 3, Cairo 3, Romney 3, U.s. 3, Hezbollah 2, Benjamin Netanyahu 2, David Petraeus 2, Fareed Zakaria 2, United States 2, Nick 2, Ford 2, Sasha 2, Sara Sidner 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CNN    Erin Burnett Out Front    News/Business.  
   Erin Burnett.  (2012)  

    November 16, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00pm PST  

8:00pm
i guess the good news is that we now have an official mascot of "the rikiculst." that's it, thanks for watching. > next, escalation is really soldiers moving to the border of gaza in preparation for a possible ground invasion. another prominent republican disavows the comments mitt romney made about president obama's gifts to minority voters. how can the gop reinvent itself post romney? and surprising revelations in david petraeus' testimony on capitol hill today. he said he knew immediately after the attack in libya who was responsible but then something changed. let's go "outfront." i'm tom foreman in for erin burnett. "outfront" tonight on the edge of war.
8:01pm
israeli military preparing for a possible ground invasion into gaza. hundreds of israeli troops have been moved to the gaza border and another 75,000 reservists are being called to serve as the violence intensifies. this as president obama gets the phone call from the israeli prime minister to get an update on the tent situation and gets briefed by henry morrissey who he hopes can dissuade the conflict. ten people have been killed in gaza and three people in israel. today they released their largest air raid in decades, including jerusalem. their air sirens echoed. two rockets hit south of the holy city, always considered off-limits, even by militants. hamas also fired several rockets at the coastal city of tel aviv. in this dangerous game of tit for tat, both sides are vowing to press ahead.
8:02pm
sara sidner is live in gaza. the prime minister visited to show support for the people there. sara, you've done remarkable work covering this for people around the clock. what is happening in gaza now? are people bracing for a ground assault from israel? >> they're certainly worried about one, very, very worried about a ground assault. they've been dealing all day with air strikes, and we have seen them ourselves. we've had to take cover several times. these air strikes are getting louder and more and more powerful, it sounds like, throughout the day, but we are also seeing the skies criss-cross with the telltale sign of rocket fire, seeing the trail of smoke that rockets often leave behind. now, we do also know that the hospitals here are becoming overwhelmed. the main hospital we visited today, there were people coming in every 15 minutes, sometimes coming in by ambulance, sometimes it was just neighbors and friends and family members
8:03pm
driving their cars up to the emergency side and people being pulled out of cars and onto stretchers. the doctors there saying they are overwhelmed, they are seeing men, women and children coming into that hospital. we're talking about more than 240 people now injured and 30 people dead. there is a great deal of concern, though, of the air strikes are, as israel has put it, targeted air strikes, certain areas being targeted, particularly looking at militants, trying to target them and looking at places where these rockets are coming from, trying to target the weapons that hamas and other militant groups that operate out of here are using. but when it comes to a ground war, people feel very differently about that, very concerned about the possibility of having thousands of troops come in here from israel. >> is there any sense there among people in gaza that there could be any real effective resistance to a ground war because israel simply has such a powerful military compared to anything there? >> well, i talked to one of the
8:04pm
hamas leaders just yesterday night, and we talked a little bit about that. because when you talk to defense experts who are looking at what people have here and what hamas, for example, has here as far as weaponry goes, the main thought is that they have more and more sophisticated weapons that they've been able to smuggle in, for example, through the egyptian border and under the tunnels and weapons that have been given to them in part by iran. now, when we talked about that, they wouldn't come out and say, yes, we've been getting more and more weapons from iran, but they did say they did have more sophisticated weapons but certainly nothing compared to what israel had, and they said they knew that they would pay a heavy price, a much heavier price than israel would pay if this turned into a full-scale war, tom. >> all right, sara sidner, magnificent work there. appreciate your words tonight. the situation, of course, is very, very tense right along the gaza border with israel.
8:05pm
our senior national correspondent is standing by in israel. this is a place where they have suffered a lot of rocket attacks from gaza. what are folks thinking there now, ben? >> reporter: well, we spoke to the mayor a little while ago who said in the last three days more than 30 rockets have hit his town of more than 120,000, and i had an interesting conversation with one ashkalan resident, a restaurant owner, and he told me he's actually happy that the residents of tel aviv and jerusalem had to scramble for cover when they heard those air raid sirens. he said finally the rest of israel is beginning to experience a sort of thing that people around here almost take for granted, and this resident told me that he hopes this galvanizes the israeli public to support the government in undertaking a massive ground operation in gaza.
8:06pm
this resident talking about israeli forces going house to house in gaza in a very densely populated area with the population of more than 1.5 million, israeli forces going house to house to round up all those members of hamas. so there does seem to be a strong push among ordinary israelis on the government here to take decisive and final action against hama is in gaza. >> is there a lot of faith, ben, that that could actually be accomplished, though? because in the past there's been a lot of talk about decisive action and we've never really seen it in the middle east, have we? >> reporter: absolutely not. if you go back just four years when there was a last blow-up between israel and gaza, there was talk then that the israeli forces would put an end to the rocket fire, and here we are four years later talking about
8:07pm
the same thing. certainly there is a certain amount of frustration among people here that they feel that israel is under so much international pressure that the country may not, in fact, be able to go into gaza and conduct the sort of operation that ordinary israelis seem to want to see happen. tom? >> thanks so much, ben wedeman. i want to bring in rick burns, a secretary of state for political affairs. and riva vala. nick, what is it going to take to end this conflict, or is it just going to get worse? >> tom, i think the obama administration has been rightfully supporting israel because israel has a right to defend itself, any country would. but i think the united states is going to want to work with egypt, with turkey and qatar to try to convince the leadership to stop this very provocative and hardy shelling of rocketing the cities.
8:08pm
when hamas is targeting both tel aviv and israel, this is a new phase of war between a long-running war between them. israel is going to react to that. i think you'll see a very intense demonstration between them to cease and desist. >> gaza is not a big area. at some point they have to run out of pockets to some degree, don't they? >> yeah, but that's a big risk. so the big driver of the israeli operation right now is the long-range rockets that were allegedly supplied by iran and which hamas has been using to target major urban centers in israel like tel aviv, like jerusalem. tel aviv has been the red line for israel, and as long as hamas has been in possession of these rockets and can maintain that threat against israeli population centers, israel can't afford to sit back. so the air strikes, yes, they
8:09pm
have been achieving some success, but hamas has still been lobbying those rockets over. we saw that today with strikes in jerusalem as well as in tel aviv, so it really comes down to that intelligence question. how many rockets does hamas have in its possession, and if hamas is able to get out of this with some rockets, that's a huge symbolic victory for them. >> is this something we've seen before, or is this colored by the arab spring and all the uprisings there? >> i think this is different because you have a change with the israeli revolution. you saw last week shells in israel. perhaps by mistake, but they did it and israel returned fire. you know it poses a major threat and now you have an egyptian government that is no longer going to be quiet when israel does retaliate. you had the prime minister of egypt today. egypt will be very careful not to break with israel, not to break camp david, of course, but
8:10pm
nonetheless, it's opening up that border and it's going to be easier for hamas to elicit this rocket territory. i think that has them much more worried and much more willing and able to go into places like gaza to try to deal with the threat and deal with the ruse of a threat. >> nick, you mentioned the egyptian president. i want to you listen to a fiery speech he made today about the people of gaza and what egypt thinks. listen to this. >> translator: we support the people of gaza. we are with them in their trenches. what hurts them hurts us. and the blood that flows from their children is our blood, too. >> riva, these are warlike words. is there any real danger here of this thing spilling beyond this? for all these warlike words between neighbors out there, does anyone else want to get
8:11pm
into this fight if israel goes into gaza or will it be between gaza and israel? >> ij for right now we're seeing this limited to israel and gaza. certainly we're keeping a close eye on the front with hezbollah. israel was talking praise for hamas, almost like an older sibling, saying this is how it shows hamas is maturing. you saw a major victory over israel. hezbollah took a heavy toll from that as well, but they were able to challenge israel superiority. that's what hamas is going for here with these rockets, and we'll just have to see if they achieve that with this ground operation. it's going to be very difficult to reach very densely populated areas like gaza city. >> thank you very much, reva bhalla and rick burns as
8:12pm
well. so if all of this, indeed, does come down to open warfare, what will the battlefield look like? let's take a look because this is israel alongside the mediterranean ocean right now. it's 75% jewish. the economy is quite good here and the economy is below 75%. it's twice as big as washington, d.c. under 2 million people there. they're predominantly palestinian and their economy is very bad, unemployment very high. globalfir globalfirer.com has called israel the tenth most powerful military in the world. why is that? well, let's break it down a little bit. they have compulsory military service there, so they have a lot of troops ready at a moment's notice, 176,000 active troops. they could also draw up a half million from the reserves pretty
8:13pm
easily, so that's a robust force out there. look at their attack units here. 3,000 tanks if you add in all the army personnel carriers and artillery units and mortars out there, you have 12,000 ground units here. that's an awful lot, and of course their air force is formidable. about 800 air strikes. this is what they use to strike at gaza. if you look at hamas, in terms of what they officially have in uniform, police, whatever you want to call them, only about 12,500 and they have nothing like the weapons the israelis have. however -- big point here -- palestinian militants do have a lot of rockets. that's what we're hearing so much about. i want to bring in a lifelike version of one of them to show you what we're talking about here. this is a kasam-2 rocket. they're easy to make out of steel tubes. they only weigh 70 to 100 pounds, something like that, so they can be moved around, and they're fueled with commercial grade fertilizer. they fire with a lot of wollop.
8:14pm
they're not very accurate, but if you fire enough of them, you don't have to be very accurate. and if you move on to some of their better missiles and rockets, you start talking about range. in this conflict, what have we seen so far? we've seen weapons fired from gaza that reportedly travel out 50 miles. you hit places like jerusalem and tel aviv, that is one of the reasons why there is so much concern among the government leaders in israel. they're saying about a fifth of their population is now exposed to these rocket attacks. all of that is adding up to this big case of tension over there and all the concern about what might be coming next. well, stay with us. we have a lot more coming up here as well, including more blowback from mitt romney's comments about how president obama won the election. and everyone gathering at the white house to talk about the dreaded cliff. stay with us.
8:15pm
try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase. (child screaming underwater)... (underwater noises).
8:16pm
but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. visit fastreliefchallenge.com today for a special trial offer. ♪ [ camera clicks ] ♪ it's hard to resist the craveable nature of a nature valley sweet & salty nut bar. and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money. joe doesn't know it yet, but he'll work his way up from busser to waiter to chef before opening a restaurant specializing in fish and game from the great northwest.
8:17pm
he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work to his last, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. it's just common sense. ford has the freshest lineup in america. so, we're at the mall... celebrating. have you seen the new focus? i walked in and it was just like... wow! seriously fun to drive... 40 miles a gallon on the highway. 40 miles a gallon? sync technology, ten thousand separate commands, so you can boss it around, sasha, to your hearts content. so you can boss it around, sasha, to your hearts content. nice. are these made here? right here in the store. yeah, a small group of elves come in. get a focus with up to $2500 cash back, plus sync and sound at no extra charge during the ford year end celebration. cheers! to the year end celebration.
8:18pm
our second story "outfront," a fiscal cliffhanger. for the first time since he was reelected, president obama met with congress men and women today to talk about the cliff. >> we had a productive talk today. >> i feel confident that a solution might be in sight. >> i feel good about what we were able to talk about in there. >> i can only echo the conversation of the other leaders, that it was a constructive meeting. >> confident, constructive, they say, but is that a deal in the making? "outfront" correspondent brie kheiler joins us. brie, what really went on inside that meeting? >> reporter: i am told, tom, there was no fireworks, there was no drama and that this is good news.
8:19pm
after the cameras left the meeting, you saw, really, president obama state what his position is, which honestly everyone already knows and house speaker john boehner stated what his feeling is on dealing with the fiscal cliff. and that sort of perfunctory here's my position sort of gave way to a back and forth between these two leaders. nothing was settled, but the tone was reportedly good and both republicans and democrats in the room seemed aware this would come down to dealing with tax reform and entitlement reform, and the source told me when the president raised the issue of increasing revenue, there was no, "no, we're not going to do that" from republicans, and when republicans talked about entitlement reform, the
8:20pm
president agreed that was something that has to be done. >> well, it sounds good, but do you think when it comes down to the brass tacks both sides are actually ready to bend a bit? >> reporter: i think they're ready to bend than they were going into that whole debacle that was the debt situation. there are some specifics that need to be sorted out for sure, exactly how to raise revenue. as you know, democrats would like to raise taxes on the wealthy. republicans prefer to close loopholes, eliminate deductions, limit tax cuts. this will be a bitter pill to swallow. this will require democratic and republican votes in congress, the kind of bipartisan vote that honestly we haven't been really used to seeing. and the other issue is that here in the near term, they're dealing with the fiscal cliff, these tax increases and spending cuts that will come in, they have to link that to tax reform and entitlement reform that they have to tackle next year. how do they do that? a trigger. what was the fiscal cliff? it was a trigger in the debt ceiling debate. they like them, and it makes you wonder, are we going to be dealing with fiscal cliff 2.0
8:21pm
next year? we might. >> thank you very much. rebuilding the republican party. following some big election day losses, the question remains, what exactly is the republican party's future? former congress carlos gutierrez that led latino voters spoke to candy. he said he would disavow comments made by mitt romney about so-called gifts from president obama to minoritieses and young voters to help him win. >> i was shocked. i was shocked, and frankly, i don't think that's why the republicans lost the elections, why we lost the election. i think we lost the election because the far right of this party has taken the party to a place that it doesn't belong. we are the party of prosperity of growth, of tolerance. these immigrants who come across and what they do wrong is they
8:22pm
risk their lives and they come here and work because they want to be part of the american dream. that is what the gop is. >> james carville and raylon salom. do you think the party agrees with what mr. gutierrez is saying? >> i think mr. gutierrez has something a little bit wrong. you have a lot of people talking about immigration reform right now, and while immigration reform might be good on its own, i think the republicans' deeper problem might be that most don't see it as the party that attracts middle class interest. when you look at latino voters, african-american voters and also the blue collar white voters who stayed at home in very large numbers in this last presidential election, it's really about middle class economic interests not being adequately represented by the republican party.
8:23pm
i think that's the problem, not so much immigration as such, and i think mitt romney's remarks were very ill advised partly because of that reason. mitt romney lost because a lot of blue collar middle class folks did not turn out this time around. it's not about minorities or just about young people. >> james, if you were revising the republican party, and i know you never will, but if you were, what would you tell them at a time like this? they've had this terrible loss. their candidate came out and said something that seemed to send the whole party in an uproar, including a lot of voters. what do they need to do now? >> mitt romney is not going to be part of anything in the republican party. they don't want to hear from him again. the biggest gift he could give the republican party is to go to nepal as a missionary, disguised.
8:24pm
this guy blew himself up pretty good. what advice i would give them is advice mike tyson once said. everybody has a plan to get hit in the mouth. you got hit in the mouth, and what the gentleman just said about the middle class is certainly very instrumental to any political party, but they come across as not much caring for people who are not like them. if you give people a message, they'll receive it. i think they'll go through a catharsis, they'll try to change. but if they run again, they have to employ to iowa caucuses and then to north carolina primaries, and those people are not interested in change, in broadening the base if you will. it's going to take a skillful person. we had to do it in 1992. democrats lost five out of six elections, and in the clinton campaign, we were able to say, look, we're not the old democratic party, we're a new style of democrat. and i think the republicans will have to go through that kind of a re-evaluation of their political party. they've got some trouble, but
8:25pm
they'll be able to fix it, i think. parties generally do. >> it looks like for the time being, the horse is racing out of the barn for them. a new gallup poll has obama at 55%, 58% beforehand. do you think that's because he won or do you think the republicans are doing things that aren't making him look good right now? >> it was a very rough campaign, and i think a lot of folks are willing to give the president the benefit of the doubt. i think americans are exhausted. i think this was a particularly disspiriting election campaign. you have some very conservative governors who are making some really constructive noises about the republican party and where it should go next, and you also have senator mark rubio talking about things that mitt romney wasn't able to talk about very convincingly. yeah, president obama is going to have a honeymoon, and that's fair enough, but i think
8:26pm
republicans are rebuilding, they're gathering their strength, and i think the message is sinking in. >> let me jump back in with james. one last real quick thing here. james, there was a comment on abc news. mitt romney said this yesterday with donors. he said, quote, i spoke with president clinton the day before yesterday. he called and spent 30 minutes chatting with me. he said, a week out i thought you were going to win, but the hurricane happened and it gave the president a chance to look presidential and look bipartisan, and you know he got a little more momentum. do you wish president clinton would also be quiet right now? >> that's mitt romney's construction of the conversation. i know president clinton well enough, he was probably trying to make the guy feel good. he's very capable of that and he's a very, very humane guy. he knows what romney had been
8:27pm
through, he knows how disappointing it is to lose an election. what kind of a guy would repeat a conversation he had with a former president unless he was trying to make him feel good? we know who mitt romney is, he's a self-indull gent plutocrat. i know he showed by his comment about the people receiving gifts, and then he repeats a version of a conversation he had with the guy to try to make him feel good. it tells me he's not a very good guy, it does. there is no point in doing that, but i find the whole thing kind of offensive, to tell you the truth. >> we're all moving on, james. a controversial congress's bid for a recount is not moving on. it is stopped in its tracks. what a florida judge told representative alan west today. and the israeli government
8:28pm
says gaza is becoming a frontal base for iran. we're going to find out if they're right when we talk to cnn's fareed zakaria when he comes "outfront." and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ cool. you found it. wow. nice place. yeah. [ chuckles ] the family thinks i'm out shipping these. smooth move. you used priority mail flat rate boxes. if it fits, it ships for a low, flat rate. paid for postage online and arranged a free pickup. and i'm gonna track them online, too. nice. between those boxes and this place, i'm totally staying sane this year. do i smell snickerdoodles? maybe. [ timer dings ] got to go.
8:29pm
priority mail flat rate boxes. online pricing starts at $5.15. only from the postal service.
8:30pm
8:31pm
8:32pm
we started the second half of our show with some stories we care about, focusing on our own reporting from the front lines. a florida judge has denied republican alan west request for a recount in the race against patrick murphy. he cited many discrepancies with the vote. west was denied because his appeal did not meet the requirements for a temporary injunction.
8:33pm
murphy, meanwhile, declared victory last week. he said while they respect the court's decision, they have to continue to pursue their legal options. a platform in the gulf of mexico burst into flames today, injuring 11 people about 20 miles off the coast of louisiana. about 28 gallons of fuel spilled in the area. a sheen of oil stretched about a half mile wide. four crew members are in critical condition and rescue planes are being used to search for at least two others that are still missing. federal authorities are investigating what triggered that explosion out there. it's been 470 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? well, maybe not this. today we learned that the output at u.s. mines, utilities and factories fell in the past month, but that was largely because superstorm sandy disrupted production. that isn't our fault but it's certainly another setback. our story "outfront," fear of an all-out war breaking out
8:34pm
in the middle east as fighting intensifies. they are accusing the terrorist group of turning gaza into a frontal base for iran. so how does the conflict between israel and hamas hurt iran? fareed zakaria is here. i spoke to him earlier and asked him how the alliance between iraq and iran play into the equation. >> right now iran has its hands full. it's got syria collapsing on one side, it has hamas in trouble. so at a very simple, logistical level, this is more demands on iran for resupplying of weapons for political support of various kinds, but there is a broad idealogical game here where iran wins, because iran is seen as the great defender of the palestinians in the middle east
8:35pm
these days. this is fastidiously stated. in the political sense, iran is seen as one of the champions of the palestinians. >> will they still be seen as a champion if israel goes debacle and pushes hard against hamas or do they risk losing some of that cache? >> not really. i think everyone understands that israel is one of the most powerful in the middle east by far. it will do what it has to to run gaza. they say to the people of the arab world, we know you're supposed to fear us because we're the shia and you're sunnis and you're arab, but we are the greatest defender of the arab cause, which is the palestinian cause. and it works. go to cairo, to the shops of cairo, and you will see photographs of ahmadinejad, an
8:36pm
iranian leader. why? because he stands up for the palestinians. that's the game the iranians play, and my guess is the more horrible the pictures are out of gaza the more there is a sense of this massive drift of power between israel and the palestinians. the more iran will be seen as one of the few countries that is willing to really stand up and speak against the west and, you know, they have, as you know, very colorful rhetoric, but that's all geared towards this regional gain where they're almost outwitting the arab against the palestinians. >> let me veer off to israel for a moment. benjamin netanyahu is up for reelection soon. how much do you think what's happening now, this rousing with gaza, does or doesn't have anything to do with him?
8:37pm
>> we have to hope this has nothing to do with that because this is a very serious business. not only is he taking his own country into a military operation, he is risking regional stability because you have a whole different regional dynamic at play now. you have a region that has to react to its people, you have turkey that has already done it. you have the king of jordan placed in this very precarious position where he can seem to be the only guy not attacking in the region. you have all these regional dynamics that are very new in the arab spring, and to do this for political gain would seem to be a very, very dangerous move and i hope that's not what benjamin netanyahu has done. >> i want to get to this very briefly. there is a new iran report that says they're not allowing them to do what they want to do. what do you make of that right now? >> i think that the iranians
8:38pm
believe they have a fundamental right to richmond and they don't believe they should have these intrusive sanctions on them and intrusive inspections. until you have a deal, that is what they're going to do. we haven't spent a lot of time asking ourselves what the deal is that's going to be had. we know what we want the iranians to do. that's great and i agree with that. how do we get them there? if you're not going to use sticks, what are the carrots that we have? we haven't done a lot of create still outfront, david petraeus told congress that immediately after the attack on benghazi, he knew that al qaeda was behind it. so why did he say it was the movie? that, and more, stay with us. [ ross ] the streets of monaco,
8:39pm
home of the legendary grand prix circuit. the perfect place to bring the all-new cadillac ats to test the 2.0-liter turbo engine. [ engine revs ] ♪ [ derek ] 272 horsepower. the lightest in its class. the cadillac ats outmatches the bmw 3 series. i cannot believe i have ended the day not scraping some red paint off on these barriers. ♪ [ male announcer ] the all-new cadillac ats. to take a centrum silver multivitamin every day. i told him, sure. can't hurt, right? then i heard this news about a multivitamin study looking at long-term health benefits for men over 50.
8:40pm
the one they used in that study... centrum silver. that's what i take. my doctor! he knows his stuff. [ male announcer ] centrum. the most recommended. most preferred. most studied. centrum, always your most complete. so, which superfast 4g lte service would you choose, based on this chart ? don't rush into it, i'm not looking for the fastest answer. obviously verizon. okay, i have a different chart. going that way, does that make a difference ? look at verizon. it's so much more than the other ones. so what if we just changed the format altogether ? isn't that the exact same thing ? it's pretty clear. still sticking with verizon. verizon. more 4g lte coverage than all other networks combined. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times.
8:41pm
never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪
8:42pm
our fifth story tonight on "outfront," the benghazi debrief. general petraeus told congress today that immediately after the december 11 attack in libya, he knew al qaeda-linked militants were behind it. according to peter king, petraeus' testimony today differed from what the obama
8:43pm
administration officials told the american people in the days following the incident. petraeus said he helped to write unclassified talking points after the attack but had no direct involvement in writing the talking points used by susan rice, the ambassador to the u.n. who said publicly the attack was spontaneous and it was sparked by an anti-muslim film. i know this is complicated, but stick with us here. the question remains, why didn't rice's talking points include the fact that this was a terrorist act and a planned one and all of that? listen. >> he said they went through a long process involving many agencies, talking to the justice of the state department, and no one knows yet who came up with the final version of the talking points other than to say the original talking points by the cia were different than the ones that were finally put out. >> national security council spokesman tommy veder says rice's talking points were produced by the intelligence
8:44pm
committee, and that, quote, the white house and state department offered one edit changing consulate to "diplomatic facility" for accuracy. he was on the intelligence house committee and he was at the hearing with petraeus today. what do you make of all this? you know republicans were saying there were some kind of political shenanigans going on. you heard the testimony. what do you think? >> there was never any evidence to back that up. it was clear the intelligence committee at the outset got that wrong. their assessment at the time, and this included general petraeus when he initially met with us, they thought there was a protest out in front of the consulate. they thought the violence took place either during the protest or after the protest. yes, there were militants involved, yes, there were terrorists involved, but they thought it began spontaneously. we now know there was no protest. but it certainly isn't accurate to say or suggest that the white house is trying to put aside this or --
8:45pm
>> hold on, wait a minute. we now know there was no protest. how long do you think it took us to know there was no protest? how long do you think it took for us to know there was no protest? >> i think the best evidence we got is when we finally obtained the video evidence, and that took some time. i think that probably took a week to ten days. >> let's say it took ten days. 14 days after the event, president obama was on "the view" and he was still using the word mob as if to suggest there was a protest. that's why republicans are so upset about this. they may be right or wrong, but i think you agree they have a reason to be irritated what was going on out there when the facts said otherwise. >> they were expressing basically they had gotten it wrong in the initial assessment, that there wasn't a protest. but there are a lot of conflicting intelligence reports about -- even now about whether
8:46pm
there was a protest there, about what the motivations were and were they motivated about retaliation for the death of one of their leaders, was it related to 9/11, was it related to cairo, was it related to the video. i think probably the truth of the matter was there was a great many people involved in this attack and some were motivated by all of the above. but the idea -- >> hold on, congressman, that sounds like you're going back to the line that somehow this was a protest. you've already said the intelligence committee said they got it wrong, this was a planned attack on 9/11 on a u.s. diplomat. correct? >> first of all, there is no definitive conclusion yet that this was a preplanned attack. and that is one of the key issues, not whether we call it terrorism or extremism. clearly it's a terrorist attack when you're firing mortars and rpgs. the real question was how much was this planned in advance and who was responsible? the intelligence committee didn't know that when they first addressed us.
8:47pm
we are still trying to get to the bottom of the degree to which it was preplanned and whether we should have seen any of this coming, but to suggest as some have that there was a deliberate effort to manipulate the intelligence or mischaracterize it simply isn't the case, and what the general said today was the changes that were made in the multi-agency process of coming up with those talking points, they were changed in order to protect classified sources of information. and the general made it clear there was no interference from the white house. he also made it clear, and i asked him about this, since the statements that our ambassador made on the sunday talk shows followed immediately after, really, the morning after in the afternoon in which we got the talking points, that reflected the best assessment of the intelligence committee that could be shared without revealing potentially classified sources of information.
8:48pm
that is what the general said today. and for those who suggest that her talking points were watered down or changed for some malicious purpose or that she knew better, that is simply not the case, and it's inconsistent with what the general told us, it's inconsistent what the acting director morrell told us, but i think some people are clinging to this theory developed during the presidential campaign and refuse to let it go notwithstanding all the facts to the contrary. >> well, i think you have to admit, if officials said from the beginning, we don't know, instead of speculating, we wouldn't be here, would we? >> well, they were being bombarded, frankly, by all of us on the committee who wanted to know, who wanted answers. who was responsible? how did this start? how did it get out of control? and they warned us their initial assessments were just that, and we're going to change as we gather more intelligence. maybe, frankly, more of us on the committee should have listened more carefully when they said they didn't know the answers to some of these questions but this was their best initial assessment. >> i really appreciate you being here. i'm sure we'll talk about it tomorrow. >> thanks, tom. up next, a major change in how we look at illegal drug use.
8:49pm
dr. sanjay gupta has a special report. and no kidding, there was a run on twinkies today. we'll tell you why. with the band cash rewards credit card, i earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. [ both ] 2% back on groceries. [ all ] 3% on gas! no hoops to jump through. i earn more cash back on the things i buy most. [ woman in pet store ] it's as easy as... [ all ] one! -two. -[ all ] three! [ male announcer ] the bankamericard cash rewards credit card. apply online or at a bank of america near you.
8:50pm
8:51pm
[ male announcer ] the bankamericard cash rewards credit card. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase. but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth!
8:52pm
♪ [ male announcer ] this is karen and jeremiah. they don't know it yet, but they're gonna fall in love, get married, have a couple of kids, [ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some retirement people who are paid on salary, not commission. they'll get straightforward guidance and be able to focus on other things, like each other, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. tonight a troubling trend. more americans are addicted to prescription medication than
8:53pm
ever before in our history. imagine that. it's an epidemic taking the lives of more people than those who die from heroin, crack and methamphetamines combined. "outfront" tonight, dr. sanjay gupta with his special this weekend, "deadly dose." >> the problem is profound. let me put it like this. 80% of the world's pain pills are consumed in the united states. that's enough to give every man, woman and child in the country a dose of pain pills every four hours for three weeks. these pain pills are ubiquitous and as a result we're seeing the consequences, someone dying every 19 minutes. i learned this in great detail from former president clinton. he called me and told me he had two sons who both lost sons in this manner, accidental death. he said the perception of these people who are dying needs to be changed a little bit. i want you to hear a description of one of those men. >> he worked for the state department, and he, you know, was going to graduate in a year with a dual law and mba degree,
8:54pm
the type of person where it just doesn't even run through your head that he has a problem because he does so well. >> he was industrious but he was normal, he liked to have a good time. i promise you that night he had no idea that he was turning out the light. none. and if it's true of him, it's got to be true of a lot of other people. >> so tom, i mean, again, your perception should change of who these people are that are dying due to drug overdoses. they're our friends, our families and our neighbors. the things you can do, clean out your medicine cabinet, get rid of those extra pills. don't misuse these things. don't take them with alcohol, ever. and keep in mind something president clinton told me. not one of these people, these people who are dying every year, every 19 minutes, needs to die. and i think we can all make a difference. tom, back to you. >> fascinating stuff, sanjay. you can catch "deadly dose" this sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn.
8:55pm
don't miss it. still "outfront," our producer went to five different stores today before finding and buying one package of twinkies. and soon it may be impossible. gg to turn around because of business people like you. and regions is here to help. with the experience and service to keep things rolling. from business loans to cash management, we want to be your partner moving forward. so switch to regions. and let's get going. together.
8:56pm
anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'.
8:57pm
8:58pm
8:59pm
hostess has announced they're going to cease production. it's just the latest financial trouble for a company that was at one time the largest wholesale bakery in the u.s. they currently produce everything from ding dongs on wonder bread and its most famous product unquestionably is right there, the twinkie. which brings us to tonight's number, 500 million. that is the number of twinkies produced every year. people expect a shortage, but twinkies are everywhere. before today's rush, stores across the country were overflowing with them. why? because what they might lack in nutrition they made up for in retro kisch. the twinkie appeared in movies like zombieland, and "all in the family" served the all-american twinkie.

Terms of Use (10 Mar 2001)